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HOME > J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs > Volume 7(2); 1996 > Article
Original Article A Study on Woman's Experience of Being Bereaved of Her Husband by an Accident
Sung Hark Park, Mi Hye Choi, Yeon Kang Chung

Published online: December 31, 1996
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Relatively young widows, who are left with young children by a sudden death of their husbands, will be faced with not only psychological troubles such as individual anxiety and frustration but also the dual burden of playing both father and mother roles in a family, Also, family members have difficulty in adapting themselves to new circumstances of the family system, the training and raising of family members, and management of the family economy. In this study, the realistic resources on the experience of middle-aged women who are bereaved of their husbands by accidents were explored. The purpose of this study is to help widows adapt to life in society and live a more positive life by setting a new goals and recovering from a lost and twisted life. 11 women, who have experienced the loss their husbands and live in the Seoul metropolitan area were studied. The research took 116 days from December 15, 1995 to April 8, 1996. The method of research was direct interviews. While having interviews with them, the contents were recorded with their consent. The ground theory was that used by Strauss & Corbin(1990) in the analysis of the data. 81 concepts were analyzed and they were subdirided into 22 subordinate categories through the course of the analysis. These were then classified into 9 general categories. In the course of being categorized, "absurdity" was showed as a core category. The subordinate categories "surprise", "gloom", "grudge", "helplessness", "emptiness", and "loss" were united in the core category "absurdity". Ominous presentiment, belated notice, death, surprise, gloom, grudge, helplessness, emptiness, loss, the situation of the children, lack of support from neighbors, support from neighbors, mulling over ways to live, choosing a job, strengthening, reinforcement, burden, sadness, smoldering, yearning, overcoming these 22 subordinate categories were re-composed into 9 general ones the husband's death, absurdity, presence of children, existence of support, self-support ability, preparation of countermeasures, self-reinforcement, toilsomeness, and overcoming. "Absurdity" widows experience was shown in the results of "toilsomeness" and "overcoming" through reaction, confrontation, and adaptation. According to the analysis the central phenomenon was absurdity, the causal condition of the death of a husband, the presence of children and the existence of support, and the meditated situation of self-support. To solve absurdity, the preparation of countermeasures and self-reinforcements were shown resulting in toilsomeness and overcoming. Through the contrast in the data, the following statements were deduced: (1) If the death of the husband is expected, the more a widow will feel absurdity. (2) The more children she has and the younger she is, the more a widow will feel absurdity. (3) The lower support she is given, the more a widow will feel absurdity. (4) The larger self-ability she has, the more actively she will prepare countermeasures. (5) The smaller self-ability she has, the more passively she will prepare countermeasures. (6) The larger self-ability she has, the weaker self-reinforcement she will preform. (7) The smaller self-ability she has, the stronger self-reinforcement she will perform. (8) The more actively she prepares countermeasures for absurdity, the better she will overcome. (9) The more passively she prepares counter measure for absurdity, the worse she will overcome. (10) The stronger self-reinforcement for absurdity she performs, the better she will overcome. (11) The weaker self-reinforcement for absurdity she performs, the worse she will overcome. Through the results in this study, the following suggested: 1) A study whose object is all family members, and a comparative study on the case of a husband who has lost his wife should be done. These studies can be expected to develop a more refined theory. 2) Because of the collapse of the extended family system and the changes of family culture in Korea, a widow's status and position are apt to be ambiguous between her husband's home and her parent's. Therefore a new study on family culture should be made. 3) A continuous study on growing social Self Help Groups should be requested for the widows of this study to re-establish and recover from their twisted and scattered lives.

RCPHN : Research in Community and Public Health Nursing